- Movie Rating -

Hot Stuff (1979)

| August 10, 1979

I have a great love of Dom DeLuise.  He’s the kind of guy that seems like he could keep you laughing at a meeting or a party where he was constantly cutting up.  You could see that in the smaller bits that he played in Mel Brooks’ comedies like Blazing Saddles and Silent Movie.  And you can see that in the 15-minute bits on “The Tonight Show.”  What I’m trying to say is that DeLuise was a brilliant comic but only within restrained bits.  Stretched out to feature-length, he wears on your nerves.

That is certainly the case with his first and only directing job, Hot Stuff a genial but terminally stupid that takes a functional premise and turns it into a lot of TV-style spot gags that get real old real fast.  Four Miami cops, Ernie (DeLuise), Doug (Jerry Reed) and Louise (Suzanne Pleshette) set up a fencing operation via and old storefront, video equipment and a two-way mirror.

This is a tasty premise, but again, there’s not real idea here.  The through-line is to have worn-out, retired comedians waltz in the front door, tell a bunch of stupid one-liners and then march out again, like a variety show.  And that wouldn’t be so bad if the gags were funny.  What do you think happens when the guy comes in with a deflated rubber raft?  Or when the guy comes in with a chainsaw?  It’s all so stupid.

Then at the end, the movie tries to come to a massive, go-for-broke conclusion, but it’s such a pain to sit through.  The comedians that march in the door might as well have rimshots.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized